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Marcon Reveals Reason For Visiting African Shrine, Encourages Youths

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France President, Emmanuel Macron, has given reasons behind his decision to visit the African Shrine as part of his visit to Nigeria.

Macron who recalled his days in Nigeria about 15 years ago, noted that it was an emotional come-back, especially as he never imagined he would return to Abuja one day as President of France.

He said the visit was a good opportunity to return the African Shrine, a place he described as ‘iconic place for African people and culture.’

He added that apart from a personal pleasure the African Shrine holds for him, he also recognised the importance of African culture.

Macron was responding to a question on why he chose to visit the African Shrine of all places at a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari after their bilateral talks held at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, “First, because I wanted to find a good occasion to come back there. I know the place and I have some memories. I have to confess at a time that there was no president around. I hope I will not spoil the party.

“First, I think that is such an iconic place for a lot of African people and African culture. And I think very often when you speak of the African culture in Europe, those who are successful in Europe and in France, which is different most of the times are not dramatically very famous in Nigeria or in Africa. And there is a bias because you know people are absolutely not the same.

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“I mean Fela, Femi, Seun Kuti are obviously very famous in France and Europe. I mean they are big successes but the Shrine is a cultural hub, an iconic hub and it is very important for me first on a personal level, and that is why I want to say with a lot of humility that I recognise the importance of this place. I recognise the place of culture in this current environment.”

Also, French President, Emmanuel Macron, has urged Nigerian youths to get involved with politics to change the narrative of the nation.

Emmanuel Macron, while describing politics as important, said only Nigerians could change their image before the comity of nations. The French President, who was accompanied by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, gave the challenge during a visit to the Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, on Tuesday night at an event tagged “Celebrate African Culture.” Emmanuel Macron noted that the future of Africa and the task of making it great rested with Africans, saying that the youths have a crucial role to play.

“Africa needs a new generation of Africans to share the new narrative about Africa all over the world,” he said. According to Emmanuel Macron, politics is important because it is a tool to change the society. Macron described the Afrika Shrine as an iconic place of strength, music, culture and the late Fela as a politician who wanted a change for the society.

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“I am very happy to be here. Let me remind you that this place — shrine is a music place as well as politics which is needed to change the society.

“So, I will say to the youths, politics is important, be involved,” he said.

Emmanuel Macron also announced the launch of the 2020 African cultures season in France. He said the event would help create a unique face for African culture in Europe. Earlier, Gov. Ambode said the President’s visit was expected to signal the dawn of a new collaboration between France and Lagos State in the quest to make the state the culture and entertainment capital of Africa.

Ambode said the event was also about celebrating African culture which was a positive step for France as it sought to rebuild its relationship with Africa. The event had in attendance personalities including, Dr Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra, Chief Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun, Prof. Wole Soyinka,, Sen. Ben Bruce among others. The event presented an opportunity for Macron and Ambode to interact with musicians, artists, fashion designers and film makers.

 (NAN)

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